Severe cyclonic storm 'Gaja' makes landfall in TN

Chennai: Over 80,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas as severe cyclonic storm 'Gaja' crossed Tamil Nadu's coast between Nagapattinam and nearby Vedaranyam on Friday, bringing with in heavy rains in coastal regions.Gusty winds due to the cyclonic storm resulted in hundreds of trees and electricity poles being uprooted in Nagapattinam and Karaikal districts.As the cyclone's landfall began, coastal towns including Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Thondi and Pamban in Tamil Nadu and Karaikkal and Puducherry received rainfall ranging between 3 cm and 8 cm.

Cuddalore received 8 cm, Nagapattinam 5 cm and neighbouring Puducherry and Karaikkal 5 cm each up to 5.30 am Friday, according to a MeT official in Chennai. According to the Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority, as many as 81,948 people were evacuated from low-lying areas and sheltered in 471 relief centres in six districts-Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Ramanathapuram and Tiruvarur.